Marketing Your Art the Right Way

Selling Art, Not Selling Out

Author: Kevin Chung (page 2 of 21)

Erik Kruger on Lessons from Failure, Letting Principles Guide You, and Creating Value for Your Audience – Cracking Creativity Episode 82

Erik Kruger is like many of us who became entranced by the idea of lifestyle design. He read Tim Ferriss’s Four Hour Workweek and felt the desire to work as few hours as possible so he could “run around and do other things” with all his extra free time.

So he tried to build businesses that let him live that lifestyle. His first attempt was a local freelance network, which fizzled out. He also tried to create web directories for physical therapists, gyms, and models, but those never gained traction either. He describes all of these unsuccessful projects as his “graveyard of domains” because of all the sites he tried and failed to build.

These failures taught him a valuable lesson. When he started out, his main goal was trying to make a lot of money while working as few hours as possible. But over time, he discovered he was focusing on the wrong thing.

Luckily for Erik, our failures often lead to our greatest success. His success came in the form of Better Man, a site dedicated to helping men change their behaviors to become more productive, habit driven, and successful. This project has grown into a thriving community of like-minded men driven to make the most out of life.

In this episode Erik talks about the lessons we can learn from failure, why you should let your principles guide you, and the importance of creating value for your audience.

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Ja-Nae Duane on Vulnerability, Staying in Touch with Creativity, and the Power of Mindsets – Cracking Creativity Episode 81

Ja-Nae Duane has worn many creative hats in her career. She started off as an opera singer where she performed at places like The Met and the White House, but soon realized it wasn’t a sustainable career.

So she branched out and started working for a social networking company, which was the beginning of her entrepreneurial journey. While working there she realized the major difference between the way men and women approached entrepreneurship. This led her to start a group called Wild Women Entrepreneurs, which grew to 55 chapters in nine months.

After a stint running her own companies, Ja-Nae realized other people probably needed help with their own entrepreneurial journeys too, which is why she wrote The Startup Equation, a book that helps owners throughout their business journeys.

In this episode, Ja-Nae talks about how vulnerability leads to great work, why you need to stay in touch with your creativity, and why your mindset is so important.

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Angela Ferrari on Believing in Yourself, Having Fun, and Struggles and Success – Cracking Creativity Episode 80

Angela Ferrari has always lived a creative life. When she was young she lived in a rural area where she figured out creative ways to play. She would build tree forts, spray paint plants, and turn her mundane environment into stories.

Angela continued that creative streak in college where she studied studio art and painting. After college, she moved to Portland, Maine and started working at a restaurant. While working as a waitress, Angela forged relationships with the restaurant owners and patrons. After a while, Angela was able to quit her job as a waitress to work on her art full-time.

For some, having a successful business as an artist would be enough, but that wasn’t the case for Angela. One day while doing yoga,  she had a vision about a dog doing yoga. This would eventually turn into her first children’s book Digger’s Daily Routine. Even with three completed books and a newly released podcast, it still feels like Angela has more creativity to share with the world.

In this episode Angela talks about believing in yourself, having fun, and how struggles can lead to success.

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Henry May on Leaving His Respected Job, Letting Ideas Develop, and Taking Action – Cracking Creativity Episode 79

Henry May spent his childhood playing with LEGOs. He loved the outdoors and harmless mischief. He thought his life was pre-ordained. He thought our paths are set for us.

This all changed the summer he joined Teach First. The two years he spent here, changed his thoughts on the education system and his role in the world.

After his time at Teach First, and a short stint at Procter & Gamble, Henry took a trip to Colombia through Teach Colombia and fell in love with the country. But he also heard horrible stories about the public schools there.

These were the driving forces that pulled him to leave everything he knew in London and to start CoSchool in Colombia.

In this episode Henry talks about why well respected jobs aren’t always right for us, why good ideas take time to develop, and why you need to stop waiting and put your ideas into action.

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Kristen Fagan on the Downside of Perfectionism, the Power of Play, and Following Your Intuition – Cracking Creativity Episode 78

Kristen Fagan has always been a creator. Even when she was young, she would create coloring book drawings for her younger family members to color in. That creative mindset helped her get a degree and a job doing graphic design.

After a few years working in design, her interest in art was reignited. Her job allowed her to work on her art while also working in design, which fueled her interest in paintings and drawing. Her passion for art grew so much that it even led to creating her own painting workshops.

In this episode, Kristen talks about letting go of your perfectionism, the power of play, and following your intuition.

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David Smooke on Taking Incremental Steps, Community Building, and Unleashing Your Potential – Cracking Creativity Episode 77

David Smooke studied economics and creative writing in university because he liked to write and felt economics had real world applications. He believed these two areas of study would be practical skills to have for his career.

After graduating, David got a job as a journalist, but felt his creativity was being stifled. He was given assignments, and was given very little leeway in how he could apply his creativity.

So he saved up a few months rent and moved to San Francisco. This turned out to be the pivotal moment in David’s career. It was here that he got his first taste of marketing while working for a startup.

At the startup David honed his marketing and community building skills. The lessons he learned here allowed him to start his own marketing firm called Art Map Inc.

In this episode, David talks about taking small incremental steps, the importance of community, and why you shouldn’t hold yourself back.

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“Make each day your masterpiece.” ― John Wooden Quote Art

“Make each day your masterpiece.” ― John Wooden

Buy this print from Storenvy.

We all have aspirations in life that seem so far out of reach. We keep climbing the mountain towards success, but it feels like the weight of the world is holding us down.

We so badly want to believe we can achieve success, but it feels like the destination is so far away. Then doubt creeps into our minds. “How do other people do it?” we ask ourselves.

While our goals might seem like a pipe dream at the moment, the truth is, they probably aren’t that far off. The problem is, far too often we are so concentrated on achieving our long term goals that we forget to live in the moment. We are so transfixed on the destination that we forget to concentrate on the present.

When we look at how far we have to go, we have trouble seeing everything we’ve already accomplished. We become so worried about the future that we don’t recognize how much progress we’ve made since we started our journeys. We don’t enough time celebrating our victories. That needs to end.

Every day presents a new opportunity to create a masterpiece. John Wooden didn’t win ten NCAA basketball championships by just looking towards the future.

He did it by focusing his efforts on the now. He realized that you can’t live your life worrying about what might happen in the future. He realized it would be much more effective to make the most out of every day by concentrating his efforts on the now.

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Photo by Sabri Tuzcu

Melissa Dinwiddie on Being Happy, Making Time for Creativity, and Sharing Your Work – Cracking Creativity Episode 76

Melissa Dinwiddie spent much of her life thinking she wasn’t an artist. Even though she loved doing creative things, and her parents encouraged her to become an artist, she still chose to take a different path. She was intimidated by all the people who drew better than her, so she stopped making art for 15 years.

Even a stint as a dance student at Julliard, a prestigious performing arts school, didn’t convince her to stick with her creative inclinations. Instead, she went to school for cultural studies and even attempted to get her PhD.

While trying to fill out her PhD application, she was filled with fear. Her body was telling her something wasn’t right. It was telling her to be more creative.

This integral moment in her life brought her back to creativity. It led her to create a business around designing ketubahs, and eventually led her to creating her blog Living a Creative Life.

In this episode Melissa talks about being happy with your self and your work, making time for your goals and creativity, and sharing your work without expectations, among many other things.

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Kerry Burki on Listening to Your Younger Self, Learning to Say No, and Shifting Your Mindset – Cracking Creativity Episode 75

Kerry Burki had an idea simmering in her head ever since high school. She wanted to make all women feel beautiful. This idea sat in her head for years before she would finally unleash it.

Kerry’s story starts like a lot of our stories. We have a kernel of an idea that sits in our heads. Sometimes we act on it, but more often than not, we let it sit. Then, something pushes us to act on it. Kerry’s push came twenty years later in the form of her time in Marie Forleo’s B School.

Kerry was working on a blog called Handmade Success, which helps people sell their work on Etsy, when her kernel of an idea crept back in her head. The only difference was, this time, instead of pushing the idea away again, Kerry decided to pull the trigger.

She asked women of all different ages and sizes to come over for a photo shoot. And with the help of a photographer friend, she began the first shoot of what became Kerry Magazine. She was finally doing her part in making all women feel beautiful. What started off as a small idea in her head has evolved into a full-blown magazine with three issues under its belt.

In this episode, Kerry talks about letting your younger self guide you, learning to say no, and shifting your mindset, among many other things.

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“Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity.” ― Will Smith Quote Art

“Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity.” ― Will Smith

Buy this print from Storenvy.

One of the things that has always bugged me is my willingness to settle for good enough. I think we all have aspirations for greatness, but we often times let complacency set in.

Instead of pursuing our goals, we give up. We tell ourselves that there’s nothing to complain about. We tell ourselves we should be grateful for what we have. We tell ourselves we are doing good enough.

We need to ask ourselves if we want to settle for what we have or if we want to achieve more Click To Tweet

While all of these things might be true, that doesn’t mean we should stop aspiring for more. We need to ask ourselves if we want to settle for what we have or if we want to achieve more, to be more.

Realistic expectations are great if you are happy with mediocrity. But I’m personally tired of being mediocre.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with mediocrity. By definition, mediocrity is normal. It’s average. Most of us have to be mediocre for others of us to stand out.

I want those of us who are tired of being mediocre to start standing out. Click To Tweet

That’s exactly what I’m advocating. I want those of us who are tired of being mediocre to start standing out. The only way we can achieve this is if we make an effort to do better.

We all need to stop being so realistic with our goals (myself included.) But how do we stand out?

I suggest we follow the advice given by one of my former podcast guests: Dorie Clark. In our interview, Dorie explained how she went from a journalist and documentary filmmaker to a business teacher, adviser, and author.

According to Dorie, there are three stages for standing out: building a network, building an audience, and building a community. I think the problem most of us encounter is going from building a network and audience to building a community.

Many of us can build a network. Fewer of us can build an audience. And even fewer of us are able to create communities around our work.

If we want to stop settling for mediocrity, we need to build communities around our work. The most well known and accomplished creatives build communities around their ideas and their work ( Tim Ferriss, Chase Jarvis, Chris Guillebeau,  and Tina Roth Eisenberg to name a few.)

They have die hard fans that will travel from near and far to meet them. They don’t settle for realistic goals. They aim for the stars, and so should we.

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Photo by Picography

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